Developed and released ‘Florunner’ peanut in 1969

The UF/IFAS peanut breeding program was established in 1928 as the first of its kind in the United States, and our breeders focus on developing cultivars, which are varieties produced through selective breeding, that are resistant to disease, give increased yields, and have higher quality.

In 1958, Dr. Allen J. Norden joined the Agronomy Department at UF as a professor. He became heavily involved in the peanut breeding program and released ‘Florunner’ peanut in 1969, a dominant variety that produced 20 to 25 percent yield advantage over all competing cultivars. For more than two decades Florunner was planted on over eighty percent of the US peanut acreage. Florunner was eventually overcome by the tomato spotted wilt virus but remained the foundation of future elite peanut cultivar releases. The economic impact of Florunner is estimated to have been more than $2.3 billion.Norden is an internationally known expert in his field, writing more than 140 scientific and technical publications, and was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1984 in recognition of the contributions he made to the peanut industry.

The breeders in our program today have the same goal Norden did all those years ago: to create a more profitable, attractive, healthy, and delicious peanut cultivar. 

The most important purpose of UF/IFAS research is to discover science-based solutions that make tangible, positive impacts on the lives of people worldwide. We consider the development of Florunner to be one of those great accomplishments. Click here to view the more of our greatest accomplishments.